Messages of the “immersive” operations of “Tahrir al-Sham” in northern Syria

“Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham” recently carried out military operations, in which it attacked Syrian regime forces in various places behind the contact lines in areas under its control, which include Idlib Governorate, part of the western Aleppo countryside, the Latakia countryside, and the Al-Ghab Plain, northwest of Hama.

“Indulgent” operations have increased in frequency recently. They did not change the map of military control in northwestern Syria, and coincided with talk of a rapprochement between Turkey and the Syrian regime. They came after an attack launched by “Tahrir al-Sham” on areas controlled by the Ankara-backed “Syrian National Army” in the Aleppo countryside. North.

These operations were launched by fighters in different brigades under the banner of “Tahrir al-Sham,” led by “elite” forces trained in these operations, such as the “Special Forces,” “Al-Asa’ib Al-Ramra,” the “Khaled Ibn Al-Walid” Brigades, and “Unit 82.” The Commission and its auxiliary media received praise from its senior jurists and officials, opening the door to questions about its timing and purpose.

“Indulgence behind the lines”
Successive “immersion” operations at various points behind the lines, beginning with infiltrating or circumventing regime forces’ points, clashing with their members and killing them, and confiscating their weapons as spoils, some of which included blowing up the entire military point building, after the end of the operation.

The most recent of these operations was the raid by the “Khaled bin Al-Walid” brigades, affiliated with “Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham,” on two gatherings of regime forces in the Maarat Mukhas and al-Bureij axes, south of Idlib, with two “immersion” operations, on December 22, which resulted in the killing of 15 members of the regime forces. Others were wounded and a tank was destroyed.

On the 18th of the same month, fighters in the “Talha bin Ubaid Allah” Brigade carried out a “snap infiltration” operation on the rear points of the regime forces on the Al-Arbikh front in the eastern countryside of Idlib. They were able to kill more than 12 members of the regime forces, wound a number of others, and seize their weapons. Individuals and quantities of ammunition.

The fighters were also able to booby-trap most of the points they infiltrated and destroyed, and returned to their positions without losses, according to information provided to Enab Baladi by a member of Tahrir al-Sham, Salem al-Rajai.

On December 17 of this year, fighters in the “Saad bin Abi Waqqas” Brigade carried out an “immersion” operation on the Qubtan al-Jabal axis in the western countryside of Aleppo, and killed a number of regime forces (without specifying them precisely), took control of their points, blew them up, and returned without casualties, according to Al-Rajai. .

On the 10th of the same month, fighters from the “Zubair Bin Al-Awwam” Brigade carried out an operation on the axis of the village of Dadikh in the eastern countryside of Idlib, and fighters from the “Muawiyah Bin Abi Sufyan” Brigade carried out another operation in the axis of the village of Al-Bayda in the northern countryside of Latakia. All operations were accompanied by thanks and praise from The Sharia members of Tahrir al-Sham, the most prominent of whom are the head of its Sharia Council, Abd al-Rahim Attoun (Abu Abdullah al-Shami), and the military leader in the Tahrir al-Sham, Maysar bin Ali al-Jubouri (Al-Harari), known as “Abu Maria al-Qahtani.”

What about losses?
Some “Inghamis” operations pass without human losses by “Tahrir al-Sham,” according to what it announces, while some operations recorded losses for all “Inghims” members, and that was last November, when three members of the “Red Bands” were killed in an operation. “Inghamisia” on the Tramla and Jurin axis, west of Hama.

The operation was then a response to the targeting of regime forces, and the subsequent Russian air bombardment of displaced persons camps near the villages of Kafr Jales and Murin, northwest of Idlib, which resulted in the deaths of ten civilians and 75 wounded.

The losses among the regime forces announced by “Tahrir al-Sham” are not mentioned by the regime’s official media, while they are published by news accounts loyal to it, in addition to simultaneous obituary publications for members of its forces in the area of ​​clashes or targeting.

On December 8 of this year, the Ministry of Defense in the regime’s government said that its forces killed “two terrorists,” wounded two, and captured a member, after carrying out a “precise ambush” in the Latakia countryside, and published a video recording showing the confessions of a bloodied person, saying he was following For the “First Coastal Division” in the opposition forces.

The recording contained confessions by the soldier, saying that he was with his comrades on a military mission to survey the locations of regime forces on that front.

The “Coastal Division” operating in the Latakia countryside did not comment on the incident, nor did “Tahrir al-Sham,” which has military influence in the region, while military identifiers published a different story in which they said that the speaker in the recording and his companions were gathering firewood near that area to keep warm or to sell firewood. Later, however, they came very close to the areas where regime forces were stationed, which led to them being surrounded, and they do not belong to any faction.

These operations come after an attack launched by “Tahrir al-Sham” on the headquarters and sites in the Aleppo countryside of the “Third Corps,” affiliated with the “Syrian National Army” supported by Turkey, and allied with the “Hamza Division” (Al-Hamzat) and the “Sultan Suleiman Shah Division” ( Al-Amshat, also affiliated with the National Army.

The fighting, which resulted in dozens of deaths, stopped after indirect Turkish intervention through the “Thaerun Liberation Committee,” which is also affiliated with the “National” Party, and international and regional parties denounced the “Tahrir al-Sham” attack, most notably America, which demanded its withdrawal, and targeted the “Tahrir al-Sham.” There were many criticisms following the attack that “the opening of the battles was directed against the regime and not against the other factions,” and that it “wasted money and ammunition to kill members of the factions.”

The Syrian researcher specializing in religious movements, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Hajj, considered that the “immersive” operations of “Tahrir al-Sham” carry multi-dimensional messages to the interior, represented by the “popular incubator of the revolution,” to the West, and to Turkey.

Researcher Al-Hajj explained to Enab Baladi that the propaganda promotion of “immersion” operations comes as a kind of confrontation of the propaganda directed against “Tahrir al-Sham,” after its attack on the “Third Corps” in the Aleppo countryside, and its attempt to control northern Syria under the slogan of “unifying the factions by force,” and gaining Popular incubator trust.

The researcher pointed out that “Tahrir al-Sham” allied itself with factions known for “corruption and drug trafficking” (Al-Hamzat and Al-Amshat), and was linked to the crime of assassinating media activist Muhammad Abdel Latif (Abu Ghanoum) in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, and was forced to withdraw at a Turkish request, and therefore it is faced with a question. Justification for the large number of deaths in an operation that was unnecessary, according to Dr. Al-Hajj.

The “immersive” operations carry messages to the West, according to the researcher, who stated that “Tahrir al-Sham” wants to confirm that it has a high combat readiness that can be relied upon in the face of any agreements that might lead to a settlement with the regime, and that its internal battles do not mean that it is no longer able to wage war. Attacks against it, and it also wants to confirm that its main enemy is still the regime, and that it is not just an “extremist terrorist organization” that wants to destroy the (moderate) “Free Army.”

Dr. Al-Hajj added that the operations are also a message to Turkey, that “Tahrir al-Sham” is ready to open fronts with the regime if the settlements that are made are not suitable for it, as the propaganda operation is taking place in the context of accelerating Turkish steps towards rapprochement with the Syrian regime.

The operations coincide with the escalation of talk about a rapprochement between Turkey and the Syrian regime, after the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced that he had offered to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to hold a tripartite meeting at the leaders’ level that would include the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, on December 15 of this year. He was preceded by many statements in this regard.

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